Media first year

Media first year
Faces of the beginner.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Study tour to Thongrung Village, Phongmey

Students listening to various accounts...

Discussing on the materials they collected...

Students with Module Tutor, Dungtse MSS Principal. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Review on Michael Truscello’s “Capitalism is the Crisis” (Documentary Film)

Possible reasons for documentation:
Capitalism crisis is not a new subject referring to the history of the world. The documentary entitled “Capitalism is the crisis: Radical politics in the Age of Austerity” directed by Michael Truscello basically deals with the revolution of socialist and anarchist against the capitalist government in various states. Capitalism and its ideologies is not an alien subject to the world, it has been always there and many experts believe that it functions through falling down. It is therefore important to note that whenever it fails it’s not the capitalist that are agonized but the ones who lie at the bottom of the food chain. The documentary clearly presents the implications of the capitalism on the middle class people and how most of the working population is affected by it. It is not a new thing to world, it was always there. It can be differentiated into four phases, first depression in the quarter of 19th century, second phase in 1930s, third one in the 1970s and the fourth is what is filmed by Michael Truscello. This type of crisis is inevitable and never ending process though it may change its form; it will prevail but keep on mutating as presented by experts in the film. The logical reasons behind this film can be related to any political subjects in modern democratic countries. When the financial corporates dominates every aspects of the nation, it leads to social and political unrest. This is what has happened in America, Spain, Canada, England and many western countries in the past few years. Capitalism always favors and prioritizes the richer ones. It is interesting to note that in most of the countries, financial corporation dominates all the other firms. Financial corporates will invest in the manufacturing organizations that are low wager and high profit ones so that they may never run in loss. For this reason they have full authority over any other firms, they can shut it down or revive it any time relying on the market value. If this is applied to a government as a whole, government in order to react to financial debts need to take some action and when it happens working people are affected. The austerity cut and the unemployment issues around the globe that disturbs the solidarity of the nation may be the key aspects of this film.  The government tries to feed on the common people by cutting off budgets from care services such as education and health; they increase taxes and interests on credit, decrease wages and sometimes many working people are left unemployed. This film on the other hand presents the realistic views of the capitalist government based on its applicability in the government of modern states. The events that followed past few years presents an insight about the abuse of freedom, the idea of resistance in the democratic country, abuse of power and influence, and the movements that took place for humanity across the globe.
Financial crisis in the past few years will go down in the history and will be always remembered by the people around the world. World economy is not only the urgency nor the military or defense of the country; there is more than all of this such as environmental issues which the world has forgotten to pay attention to. Michael Truscello give his audiences this comprehension of what the world has really become, what it is and what it will be in near future if we are not careful about it.

Interesting Facts about this Documentary:
The world that we live in right now has its own history be it politics, economics or the wars that is not unknown. After the post war nations were engaged in development, with development the world was introduced to new issue which is now known as “Capitalism Crisis.” Michael Truscello filmed based on one such issue, the capitalism crisis in 21st century.  First of all this is a documentary grounded on basic truths of capitalist nations. The elite nations such as U.S.A, Canada, England, Spain and other states are known for their dominance be it global economy or politics. The documentary reveals reality of these states with facts and figures. Best example could be the falling economy of U.S government and how they took measures by letting the working population pay for the government. There is no subject of amusement as such for it shows how people have suffered due to capitalism, but deep within there is certain messages to be put into consideration by the whole humanity. The positivity shown by the people to change the course of democratic society can be taken into account. Their hopes and aspirations from the government comes into reality, their voices does not go in vain. They succeed in convincing the state governments and democrats to change their perspective with a common thought for the common people and for common future.
Violence broke down between commoners and police forces, about one thousand one hundred of women, men, and teenagers were arrested in Canada and some even dead during the protest. Those people were deprived of their individual rights and no heed was given to them by the law enforcers. It is a shame in the name of humanitarian acts or perhaps the government of those states. It is good to know that some of the Union took initiative to help those victims of the revolution.
Some key aspect of this film can be about American government who spends most of the national revenue into military and defense. Whereas they spend very little amount on care services such as health, education, climate change which can save humanity. But for some countries they have already started investing in saving humanity rather than investing in defense. It is not definite to say that capitalism is not good, but question is about organizing society and its sustainability. It is about nothing like capitalism crisis ever happens again…         
Strong evidences that supports the arguments:
I feel most of the arguments were strong. This, I say so because; the arguments were very strong with their respective strong evidences as well. This video informs us about capitalism, and specifically on the US.
Well, to support my judgment upon saying the arguments are not weak, there are many evidences I draw from the video. As one of the interviewees in the chapter of capitalism say that they go to the same super market and places but still the richer ones don’t trust them nor talk them well. The images of the return of the great depression in which is entitled ‘Shanty towns’ is another evidence to support their argument. 2000 homeless in Sacramento and 300 living with more coming every day cannot be a weak argument when there are some among them who were used to with roofs above their heads instead of thick tents, also TV every morning for news when the other half of the country were enjoying luxury.
The images draw a lot of information. Of images like The financial crisis, Deutsche bank being accused of massive mortgage fraud, sued for $1 billion by US government, Bank boss Lee Farkas guilty of fraud, the housing crisis on Racial predatory loans fueling US, Paul Allen ex-mortgage CEO sentenced to prison for $3 billion fraud, and all as pointed by Professor Leo Panitch of the York university. Thankfully to people with low incomes, Obama promises to help and so does he against capitalism.
Some of the very strong evidences they have showed to support their arguments are the graphs and statistics. One of the very good evidences is Sheena, as broadcasted by one of the news channels, a student struggling with petty jobs and internships for survival. Not only that, she also works for her education like many other students. She says she earns a salary that feeds her a dinner or a two. And so like her many students struggle for the same reasons or more.
Professor Sedef Arat Koc, is another evidence who explains on this. She points out at some influences due to which she says that there isn’t any political space left for the people to criticize the existing order, to bring up issues of quality and justice, or to develop alternatives to the existing orders.
One of the evidences is the bringing about the ancient way of combating capitalism. Rallies and protests as broadcasted on clips of news channels are one way of arguing and the evidence as shown by the clips. This is how people march every corner, every street for the justice and rights and this isn’t weak. Canadian labor congress and green peace international lead the rights of the people and students against G20.
Breaking of cops cars and shops and robbery and vandalism are some evidences of the ways they argue but this indeed is a weak way. Yes these ways are weak to argue. This way they are instead harming the country as well as themselves. They are destructing each other when they get handcuffed, and beaten. Peace can be maintained and they could have made things better. Naomi Klein, author, tells us about the actions taken against peaceful protestors, like detentions, beating, denying medicines, refusal of sanitary pads in cells and more. What she says strongly gives us the evidences though that when peacefully protested, the protestors were ill-treated instead.
There are protests on austerity fighting back, in US, London, Greece, Wisconsin and many countries.
Human civilizations ‘will collapse’ unless greed culture is stopped, report warns!

Who Am I?

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”
-Karen Ravn

Life is the greatest teacher, I have made mistakes and I have hurt lot of people especially my parents yet I love my parents, my family, my friends and above all I love myself. It may sound bit selfish, but of all these years I have lived and through all my good and bad experiences I have learned one thing, that no one can love you more than yourself and no one most caring than your parents.  I know I am not perfect in fact no one is and this I believe is the beauty itself of this world. It took a while for me to know myself as I was a failure. I still remember that day when for the first time in my life saw my father literally sobbing like a child just because of me and I hate myself for this. I am telling all of this because this particular incident marked the new beginning. There are lots of moments that I don’t want to remember, things that I regret and sometimes I even wonder at myself; what was I thinking? As of now, I am quite, composed and ambitious. It is almost one and half year in this college and for the last one semester I was really struggling, trying to acclimate with the new environment. Now I must admit Sherubtse is a beautiful place. Everything here is far more than a beautiful experience; especially learning in this college is amusing. I may be the happiest person in this world right now and I am enjoying my stay in Shercol. All in all I am getting inspired and my spirit is in great shape.

I want to understand the ways of life and acquire knowledge which I have very less. There is no better place to be than this place, there is no right time than present. I am certain that my whole endeavor here will not be futile. I am here to study and it is the only way to broaden my knowledge. Besides that I am here to prepare for tomorrow. I don’t fear failing but the important thing is that I want to learn much more and I want to achieve my dreams. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s the courage that counts” I live with these words and I will always do.  No matter what may be the circumstances I will die trying to achieve it and rest let tomorrow decide for itself. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Impact of Films on Bhutanese Society and Culture

The film industry consists of a number of institutions including: film making cinematography, film production, film festival, and the film distribution. Bhutanese film industry is young and modestly developed compared to any other neighboring countries. Though it is young, the Bhutanese film industry produces varieties of film on arts and culture, thematic films and documentaries on different existing issues. Broadly these can be classified into commercial and non-commercial films. By late 90s Bhutanese people were introduced to “Television” which goes head to head with the film industry. It did take long for Bhutanese people to walk along with what they saw and learnt from the electronic box called television but if TV had not been there, people would have still not reached where they are today. Now TV as a popular mass media it eventually boosted the film industry of Bhutan. Numbers of films are being produced annually with the advancement of technologies. So many people be it young, old and adults now are taking much interest in something Bhutanese unlike past when our parents were compellingly subjected to Indian films as there was no films made by the Bhutanese. But for now the time has changed as our country is developing as well as the Bhutanese film industry.

When we talk about films, we must also consider its impact on the society and culture. Society which includes men and women of all ages and a culture which is, “stories we tell ourselves about ourselves”. Films can have both positive and negative impact on the minds of the people. It can easily persuade people as audio visual effect is more powerful compared to that in printed form, maybe it is for this reason Bhutanese rarely reads or it is a lack of literacy that people chooses films and anything related to television. “Art doesn’t change culture; art merely reflect culture” said great minds, but by looking around these days it cannot be accepted as it is observed by many that media is a key of persuasion and it is very wrong and vague to say so. Film industry plays a vital role in reshaping the culture but it can also be detrimental to the cultures that we have in Bhutan. Society we live in right now is never to be misjudged; different people have different thoughts and different people takes in things differently. So films have impact upon the minds of viewers.

Cinema has truly played a major role in changing our society. Patriotic movies make us remember to love our nation. Good comedic movies have made people laugh to live a happy life and who doesn’t know Phurba Thinley in Bhutan who makes people laugh abruptly at his presence. Take an example of Thoepaka (movie based on Milarepa and his struggles to enlightenment), spiritual movies have change people’s mind to devote into religious acts. Gasa Lamai Singye, first Bhutanese film and any recent movies on love and it’s hardship in traditional Bhutanese society depicts the very nature of we Bhutanese and our opinions about love in our people. In our society there are many practices and traditions which are based on ignorance and which have withheld the progress of our society, for example drinking habit in eastern Bhutan, bossy kind of nature in western and caste system in south. Rigidity of caste system, untouchability and regionalization has done enormous harm to our society. Cinema films can do a lot to eradicate these evils. They can be used for promoting national integration, prohibition, inter caste marriages, family planning, eradication of illiteracy, etc. Such themes can help the transformation of our society. The cinema can be used as instruments to help people get rid of anonymity and also to guide them along the right path. It can help in removing ignorance from our society. Not only this, several much needed social reforms can be introduced and brought about with the help of the film industry in Bhutan.

The films create a great influence on the mind of the people. It has a great educative value. It can achieve splendid results in the field of expansion of education. There are certain subjects, such as science and geography, which can be more effectively taught with the help of talkies and documentaries. Lessons on drug abuse, rules of hygiene and civic sense can be taught to the students and the public as well in a very effective manner with the help of films. Many successful experiments have been made in various developed countries on the utility of films as a means of education and our country Bhutan is on its way, our education ministry in collaboration with Singapore and many other countries are trying their best to put it into practice. Let us take an example, for teaching Biology, anatomy part can be easily taught with the help of a video clip be it a high schools or a colleges. Feature films have been produced for school and college students and students of Bhutan are being benefited by them.

Films have greater advantages, but it also has much negative impact upon its audiences. As it is most influential the film makers try their best to provide good messages and morals to the spectators, but in the process of doing so it becomes mandatory that something unpleasant characters must be also given away. Communities do not conceive goodness without seeing bad, it is when the goodness is set back. Audiences tend to get attracted more towards negativity; they are more fascinated by the pessimism rather than optimism. People try to imitate the destructive side. Take an example, one chooses jeans and T-shirts rather than gho and kira, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex and violence, bullying etc are certain impression of Bhutanese youths  just because some negative character in a movie is looking great with such get up and attitudes besides a movie is a movie and is trying to create awareness best possible.

Films have the power to influence the thoughts of the people. They have altered the society and social norms. They have introduced new fashions in society. They can create a direct impact on our social life. Films can go a long way towards arousing national consciousness and also in utilizing the energies of the youth in social reconstruction and nation-building by a skillful adaption of good moral, social and educative themes, and by introduction of popular sentiments, films can, to a great extent, formulate and guide public opinion. Because of their audio visual appeal cinema films are the most powerful means of publicity and advertisement. Short publicity films or skits when shown on the screen easily catch the imagination of spectators. The cinema has so far remained unchanged as the most popular audio-visual mass medium. Like the other side of the coin, this gift of science has some disadvantages, too. It is a force and has the power to influence the society. So a film which depicts scenes of moral degradation or which violates our moral standards does immense harm to our society. We know many young people have gone off track under the misleading influence of indecent pictures. Dirty, immoral and crime pictures very easily catch the imagination of gullible youth. Such films can be accused of producing wrongdoing. The films produced on the western trends or the films which try to preach western moral standards are producing a bad effect on our younger generation. So the producers of films and the film censors owe a great responsibility to society. The film producers should try to resist the temptation to mint money by producing principle pictures related to Bhutanese society; they should rather produce good pictures of educative and reformative value for the sake of Bhutanese youths who are immensely into western films and its influence.

A good film is greater than any education and a bad film is more harmful than a poison.  A film has become a part of people’s life and has become a powerful means for culture, education, leisure and propaganda and agenda setting playing a vital role in shaping the state of the nation. Necessity of film industries and the production houses are gaining more popularity as a commercial firm, providing opportunities to many young Bhutanese talents. Most Bhutanese films do have optimistic effect upon the public; nevertheless we must also consider the negative influences that films bring upon our younger generation.

Money & Happiness

Money is what money does. Richness does not always guarantee happiness. A country may be rich or poor, but that does not mean that a rich ones will be happier and those poorer will be less happy. A country will become rich, will have developments and economic prosperity but parallel to that developments, a certain issues will begin. If Bhutan gets richer, that richness will never assure the happiness of Bhutanese. United States is much richer than it was 50 years ago, but this has produced no measurable increase in overall happiness. Wealth provides luxuries and basic human desire which may stimulate a momentary happiness but it does not mean that happiness is ensured, certain factors must be considered when talk is about happiness such as close people around, values and culture, and pleasant experiences.

Money provides all the basic human desires and happiness, but for a short span of time. Happiness is having money when poor; it can give good and luxurious life. The effect of extra income on happiness is greatest in the poorest countries, where people are nearest to the breadline. Money is an important exchange for food, shelter and clothing. It can afford better health facilities, medicines when diseased and need a treatment. It is true that poor nations become happier as they become middle-class nations. But after the basic necessities have been achieved, income is only lightly connected to well-being. For instance if country becomes richer, it is sure that natives will have better income and living standards will improve. When living progress, better housing, fancier cars and extra money becomes the priority. The expectations will keep on changing and miss the enduring happiness. This shows that happiness provided by money is brief, as one gets richer happiness decline. Researchers have found that people living in richer areas are less happy than those living in less developed areas. Similarly, If you compare two people with the same income, one living in a richer area than other, the person in the richer area reports being less happy.

Happiness is not just determined by one factor but many others such as loving friends and relatives, and pleasant experience such as indulging in good activities. Doing things can bring us more joy than having things. Applying yourself to something hard makes you happy. We're addicted to challenges, and we're often far happier while working toward a goal than after we reach it. As the most significant sign of wealth, possessing a large sum of money has become a unique pursuit of many people, especially the younger generation of Bhutan. Youngsters are convinced that happiness can be bought by sufficient money. Happiness does not always increase in proportion to the amount of money. Focusing on the illusion that money brings happiness may have an unexpected adverse effect that may lead to a misallocation of time. Money would change the sense of well-being. One would probably be tempted to think about spending more time in leisurely pursuits such as playing a play station 3 (PS3) games or traveling abroad but in reality, one have to spend a large amount of time working and commuting less time engaged in experiencing happiness.

Kingdom of Bhutan originated from rich cultures, traditions and has its own history unlike any other western countries. If Bhutan grows to be rich happiness of the Bhutanese is not definite. People believe in joint family system, have faith in family values and keeping relationship. It is undeniable that money has a brief effect on life’s satisfaction, particularly money satisfies fundamental needs. People will be wealthy; will feel better than other peers. But such feeling lead to differentiation and loaded family members will be after richer friends which may have effect on the family unity. Therefore due to comparison within, relative becomes no greater than it was before; people quickly get used to all new stuff that money can buy and the demand for money rises along with the income. Consequently, the endless and vicious cycle in terms of physically and psychologically stress begins again. Researchers say that American millionaires living in huge, luxurious houses are barely happier than Masai warriors in Kenya who live in huts. People may have sufficient wealth, but never peace. More money can lead to more stress. The big salary you pull in from your high-paying job may not buy you much in the way of happiness.

Money does not always bring happiness, but it is not indicated that money cannot be the cause of happiness. Even if country gets more affluent than before, subject will begin regarding some other ideas. Happiness is like a pendulum -- some days you are happy, some days not, and there's not much you can do to change that. It is of great importance to deal with money more carefully and appropriately. As an alternative of lavishing money in an ostentatious way, one should be aware that it is romance, friendships, good health, family that truly bring us happiness.  
                                                                                                                                                                      (Courtesy Relove 

The challenging issues of Waste Management

The ancient world have never faced major threats pertaining to waste management, since the beginning of human history marked insignificant waste generation due to low population density, yet it  remains inevitable issue at any circumstance.

                                       (source: Bhutan observer)
Now, the waste associated problems are controversial globally as the advancing world generates high amount of waste against its actual carrying capacity. Waste is considered as discarded materials but it can be of more useful if treated properly through various methods of waste management ideologies. In line the technique of gathering, transporting, disposing and monitoring waste materials shall be termed as waste management. This is addressed mainly with the rise in anthropogenic (human) activities to strengthen the environmental ethics and to improve life expectancy. Thus this issue also claims to be a matter of concern in the small kingdom like Bhutan with the effect of modernization; nonetheless the government initiates effective measures towards such challenges.

Perhaps the Bhutanese society is believed to be united under the doctrine of Buddhist philosophy which encouraged villagers particularly to preserve the age-old traditions, however with an evolution of modern era, the majority of ambitious Bhutanese flees towards urban places to avail improved amenities. With increasing population in urban centers, solid waste management tension grows drastically. According to UNEF (United Nation Emergency Force) report (2001), waste is recognized as an emerging problem in the cities of Thimphu and Phuentsholing. More number of people living in the cities generate different level of waste materials which are dumped at no proper place rather they are thrown directly into the water bodies, streets, public places and forest land. This deficiencies in people causes the unlimited challenges. On the other hand, the changing consumption pattern, could also be accounted as supplementary factor that contributes in the generation of waste.

Generally waste is not only of one kind. It subdivides into various categories on the basis of some physical properties such as organically generated waste which includes kitchen waste, sewage and other degradable waste. The organic waste dominates almost 50 percent of the other MSW (municipal solid waste). Followed by the plastic wastes that accounts to 12.73 percent and E-waste (electronic) generation about 0.37 percent of the total MSW (RoGOB, 2007). Then Polythene (plastic) items, papers predominates garbage as main component. Nevertheless the hazardous Radio Active waste is rated very minor, since Bhutan is popular only in terms of hydropower projects and not nuclear power plants. Furthermore the medical and industrial waste are also on the rise.

In contrast, litter dominate streets which include junk food wrappers, especially Maggi and other noodle wrappers. Lacking civic responsibility and carelessness amongst the Bhutanese would invite a major environmental and health hazard in the long run. In addition, the research carried out by CSE (Delhi- based NGO center for Science and Environment) asserts, Maggi and other popular “junk food” contain high amount of salt, sugar and trans-fat that would lead to serious health problem and diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

More over the increasing generation of waste would cause severe degradation of natural biodiversity and activate pathogens wide spreading uncontrollable diseases. Likewise, the Inflow of commodities such as Maggi and other noodle items of low nutritional value but high littering capacity, would only introduce rupee crises, ultimately shackling the country’s economic stability.
Nevertheless, as of now proper landfill processes are practiced in the cities of Thimphu and Phuentsholing, but in some public places the condition still remains unimproved. Landfills is  the simplest method of waste disposal where by solid wastes are mainly treated that way. 100% wastes generated from low to medium developing countries and even from the developed countries are following the technique of landfills. The practice of 3Rs (Reuse, Recycle and Reduce) policy can also be an effective method in order to combat the challenges related to solid waste and help maintain clean and green nation. In line, the law enacted by the government such as the waste prevention and management act (2009) and waste prevention and management regulation (2012) would also assist in the reduction of waste to promote and sustain human health and the protection of environment.

On the whole, this issue had been unimportant in those ancient times but it is rather of high priority today. Therefore considering the true facts about the increasing problems related to waste disposal, one must always strive towards better and helpful method in easing such challenges though it can’t be prevented completely. Furthermore the concerned citizens of Bhutan must also intend with noble thoughts to see the future prospective by facing the solid waste challenges of current scenario, where by conserving the pristine state of nature at any times to come.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

In the East

I was fortunate to see sceneries with magical beauty.
A day journey instilled enormous pleasures in me,
Climbing uphill and downhill that whole day.
And occasionally looked through
Saw beauty in every sight.

The mountainous terrain and the
Flowery clouds appealed gorgeous.
The ravine with flowing river was beautiful.
And I saw beauty on reaching passes,
Embellished with stupas and gesticulating prayer flags.

An artifact huts and the well-designed bungalows,
And the fortress I saw were further more beautiful.
Taller trees and shorter bushes
And tiny shrubs were even beautiful.
Fairly limited Blossoms but beautiful they are.
The waterfall and the cliff beneath,
Seemed more scary but lies in it a beauty.

First time in the east I suppose,
But everything east seemed more welcoming.